By Kenneth Friedman: will be fighting on October 12 on the undercard of ’s next fight at the Wintrust Arena in Chicago, Illinois. Matchroom promoter stated on Wednesday that the unbeaten light heavyweight champion Bivol (16-0, 11 KOs) will be part of the undercard for Usyk’s next fight. Bivol’s fight is expected to be the co-feature bout on the card.

Unless Hearn can work some magic, Bivol will wind up making a simple title defense against one of the lesser known contenders in the 175-pound division. There’s less than two months to go before October 12, and that’ll make it especially difficult to get a good opponent for the unbeaten Bivol. There aren’t any names that are being floated right now for Bivol’s next fight. That’s a bad sign, because it means he’s going to be taking a stay busy match. All the top fighters at 175 are tied up right now with other matches, and they’re not available to face Bivol.

Options for Bivol’s next fight

These are the top 15 ranked contenders in the ’s rankings that Bivol’s next opponent will likely be pooled from:

  1. Marcus Browne
  2. Felix Valera
  3. Dominic Bosel
  4. Joshua Buatsi
  5. Sven Fornling
  6. Jesse Hart
  7. Umar Salamov
  8. Charles Foster
  9. Callum Johnson
  10. Blake Caparello
  11. Craig Richards
  12. Mathieu Bauderlique
  13. Ahmed Elbiali
  14. Jean Pascal

There would be a lot of interest from fans in seeing Bivol fight Joshua Buatsi, Callum Johnson, , Jesse Hart or Marcus Browne. But given the short amount of time before October 12, those guys likely won’t agree to fight Bivol. We’ll probably see Bivol fighting someone like Ahmed Albiali, Blake Caparrello, Charles Foster or Mathieu Bauderlique.

Those guys are way out of Bivol’s league talent-e, and it wouldn’t be interesting for fans to watch him beat up another over-matched opponent. If Bivol is going to occupy the co-feature slot on Usyk’s October 12 card, Matchroom should find a quality opponent for him to defend his title against.

Fans weren’t impressed with Bivol’s last performance

The fans would be pleased to see an upgrade from Bivol’s last opponent Joe Smith Jr. (24-3, 20 KOs), who he beat by a one-sided 12 round unanimous decision on March 9. Bivol fought a safety first fight against the powerful Smith, and it wasn’t thrilling stuff to watch. Although Bivol had Smith close to being knocked out on a couple of occasions, he stayed in first gear, and let him off the hook.  After the fight, Bivol was criticized by fans on social media. They felt that Bivol was too one-paced, and defensive. Smith rocked Bivol with a right hand after the bell in the 10th round, but he couldn’t take advantage of it.

Last year, Bivol looked impressive in his 12th round knockout win over Sullivan Barrera in March 2018. That was a great effort by Bivol. However, in his last two fights, he’s put in lackluster performances in beating Jean Pascal and Smith Jr.

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